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End the Blockade!
A Ship with Medical Aide for Gaza. (2009)

Appeal

Israel, the occupying power, had declared the Gaza Strip an "enemy entity" more than a year ago and hermetically shut it off from the outside world. The results: the economy collapsed. The seriously ill were refused treatment, that could only be had outside of Gaza. The hospitals ran out of the most elementary medical supplies. Approximately 700 students were not permitted to travel abroad to reach their universities.

Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip and the military invasion that began December 27, 2008, are a prolongation of its blockade policy. Whereas the UN and the EU called for a cease-fire in Gaza, the blockade has hardly been mentioned.

This crime against humanity, committed in plain view of the world, was once again ascertained by Prof. Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Karen Koning Abu Zayd, Commissioner General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, described the "human toll of this siege" as terribly grave "... and we have nothing in our warehouses. ... It will be a catastrophe if this persists, a disaster." Even before the Israeli army’s major offensive, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon appealed recently, for an immediate relaxation of the blockade, because of "the deprivation of vital necessities and human dignity."

Particularly the governments of the USA and the EU accept the blockade without comment. They are factually supporting these blatant violations of the internationally binding Geneva Conventions, which strictly forbid collective punishment of a civilian population.

We demand an immediate, effective and internationally controlled cease-fire and the unimpeded and comprehensive access of supplies to all of the Gaza Strip. It must be made clear to all parties involved that neither justice, peace nor durable security can be attained for the inhabitants of the region through the use of violence, which only increases the fears, hatred and suffering. International law provides a framework for solving the conflict. Gaza’s blockade and rockets fired at civilian targets are in violation of international law.

We refuse to stand by inactively and watch as a population of 1.5 million suffers strangulation and starvation, especially because they are still suffering the ongoing military offensive and its consequences. Within the framework of the "Free Gaza" campaign, courageous internationalist activists from many countries, including Israel, have proven, with their five trips by ship from Cyprus to Gaza that, if sufficient public pressure and support is mobilized, the blockade can be broken.

We want to join the appeal of the "Free Gaza" campaign and send a ship with medical necessities to Gaza from a European port.

This can only be achieved with a great deal of public support and this is why we need your help:

  • Inform yourselves and others about the situation in Gaza and about the background of the on-going regional confrontation. A better informed public and public pressure increases the possibility of a political solution.
  • Sign - both as an individual and as an organization - and disseminate this appeal to end the blockade and send a ship to Gaza.
  • Help us plan who could take this trip to Gaza.

There can only be peace, when human rights and international law is respected by all sides. For this, the Gaza blockade must be lifted. That would be an essential step toward more security and freedom for everyone in the region.

Signatures ...